Today, the European Union approved the fifth package of sanctions against Russia, some of which are related to cryptocurrencies.

The EU press release says that the fifth package of sanctions is being introduced due to “Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine and reports of atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces.”

The package includes, in particular:

“Prohibition of deposits in cryptocurrency wallets, as well as the sale of banknotes and transferable securities denominated in any official currencies of the EU Member States, to Russia and Belarus or to any individual or legal entity, organization or body in Russia and Belarus.

  • The sanctions also prohibit:

    • the purchase, import or transfer of coal and other solid fossil fuels in the EU from Russia since August ;172017
    • providing access to EU ports for vessels registered under the flag of Russia;
    • 172017 activities of Russian and Belarusian motor transport enterprises, including those transporting goods in transit;

      172017 exports of jet fuel, quantum computers, semiconductors, electronics, software, engineering and transport equipment;

    • imports of timber, cement, fertilizers, seafood and liquor.172017

    The European Commission also issued a press release welcoming “the adoption of the fifth package of restrictive measures against the Putin regime.” The document describes sanctions measures, in accordance with the EU statement, however, in terms of cryptocurrencies, the wording looks different:

    “Ban on the provision of large cryptocurrency services in Russia. This will help close potential loopholes.”

    In this regard, it would be useful to recall that the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has jurisdiction in Georgetown, Cayman islands, although it has 40 offices in other 38 countries. The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory and therefore not part of the European Union.

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